The Little Franciscans of Mary
Museum and Heritage Space
Welcoming you : the soul of our history

Foundation

Unlike most religious congregations, the Little Franciscans of Mary do not have one but ELEVEN founding sisters. These women who gathered in a common project based on devotion and self-sacrifice overcame many obstacles to establish a new congregation.

The Founders

Mother Marie-Joseph  (Marie-Louise Rondeau)  1870-1922
Mother Marie-Anne-de-Jésus  (Marie Bibeau)  1865-1924
Mother Marie-Dominique  (Lumina Bolduc)  1870-1952
Mother Marie-Thérèse-de-Jésus  (Elzire Roy)  1871-1898
Mother Marie-Alexis  (Cordélie Robillard)  1846-1939
Mother Marie-Zotique  (Étudienne Blais)  1858-1930
Mother Alphonse-Marie-de-Liguori  (Albertine Riopel)  1872-1936
Mother Marie-des-Sept-Douleurs  (Emma Decelles)  1860-1937
Mother Marie-Égide-d’Assise  (Rosanna Marcil)  1862-1949
Mother Marie-Frédéric  (Zélie Perron)  1852-1939
Mother Marie-de-Bon-Secours  (Agnès Perron)  1856-1892



Dates and Important Events

1889

  • In Worcester, Massachusetts, Marie Louise Rondeau and other women join efforts to care for orphans and several elderly persons. Other Seculars are drawn to their dedication.

  • In Baie-Saint-Paul, parish priest Curé Ambroise-Martial Fafard buys a tract of land and sets up hospice care for the elderly.

1890

  • A request from the Worcester Secular group to form a religious community is rejected by Bishop Patrick Thomas O’Reilly.

1891

  • In Worcester, fifteen of the seventeen Seculars leave the orphanage and move into the House of Misery. Bishop O’Reilly orders they be disrobed.

  • A few weeks later, the Caring Virgin transmits this message to Agnès Perron: “Walk, my little sisters, you will succeed!”

  • In November, invited by Curé Fafard, four Seculars arrive in Baie-Saint-Paul to assist him at St. Anne Hospice, which also cares for people with intellectual disabilities.

1893

  • Monseigneur Michel-Thomas Labrecque, the Bishop of Chicoutimi which includes the parish of Baie-Saint-Paul, assesses the Constitution of the Little Franciscans of Mary, and gives his approval to the community.

1896

  • A first group takes their vows, pledging to observe the Congregation’s Constitutional Rules; they are officially recognized as nuns.

1898

  • Curé Fafard plans to build a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart, and a Mother house for the new congregation. He passes away the following year.

1900

  • Led by Founding Mother Marie-Anne-de-Jésus, construction on the chapel and Motherhouse begins.

1902

  • The Little Franciscans of Mary’s Constitutional Rules are reviewed according to Canon Law and Seraphic Rule, by Franciscan Brother Berchmans-Marie Mangin. They are approved by Bishop Labrecque.

  • Brother Berchmans-Marie Mangin then drafts le Directoire de politesse et de perfection, le Coutumier, a handbook of customary practices, and a prayer book, as well as a questionnaire for new candidates. He refines their coat of arms, designs their official seal and composes the chant Rappelle-toi.

1904

  • The Chapel is consecrated by Domestic Prelate and Vicar General of Chicoutimi and the Motherhouse is placed under the patronage of Mary Immaculate.

  • Affiliation with the Seraphic Order (Franciscan) and approval by Rome of the Little Franciscans of Mary Congregation